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J Phys Condens Matter. 2010 Jun 2;22(21):216002. doi: 10.1088/0953-8984/22/21/216002. Epub 2010 Apr 30.

Electrically driven magnetization of diluted magnetic semiconductors actuated by the Overhauser effect.

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School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA.


It is well known that the Curie temperature, and hence the magnetization, in diluted magnetic semiconductors (DMS) like Ga(1-x)Mn(x)As can be controlled by changing the equilibrium density of holes in the material. Here, we propose that even with a constant hole density, large changes in the magnetization can be obtained with a relatively small imbalance in the quasi-Fermi levels for up-spin and down-spin electrons. We show, by coupling the mean field theory of diluted magnetic semiconductor ferromagnetism with master equations governing the Mn spin-dynamics, that a mere splitting of the up-spin and down-spin quasi-Fermi levels by 0.1 meV will produce the effect of an external magnetic field as large as 1 T as long as the alternative relaxation paths for Mn spins (i.e. spin-lattice relaxation) can be neglected. The physics is similar to the classic Overhauser effect, also called the dynamic nuclear polarization, with the Mn impurities playing the role of the nucleus. We propose that a lateral spin-valve structure in an anti-parallel configuration with a DMS as the channel can be used to demonstrate this effect, as quasi-Fermi level splitting of such magnitude, inside the channel of similar systems, has already been experimentally demonstrated to produce polarization of paramagnetic impurity spins.

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